Dogs, Li­ons set to lay it all on the line for glory

South Western Times - - Front Page - Pic­ture: Mitchell Wood­cock

Har­vey-Brunswick-Leschenault coach Derek Hall and Bun­bury coach Jamie Nani are all smiles be­fore they go into bat­tle this Sun­day in the 2017 South West Foot­ball League grand fi­nal. For your de­tailed guide to the three grand fi­nals as well as likely line-ups, key match-ups and se­lec­tion dilem­mas,

ALL the pres­sure is on Har­veyBrunswick-Leschenault ahead of this weekend’s re­serves grand fi­nal, ac­cord­ing to South Bun­bury coach Kane West­brook.

The Li­ons are hunt­ing for a num­ber of records this Sun­day, in­clud­ing their 40th straight win and a 14th re­serves flag.

West­brook knows his side en­ters the game as un­der­dogs, but is con­fi­dent if they bring their score­board pres­sure and tough con­tested game-style, then they are a chance.

“If we can bring a phys­i­cal pres­ence and win the con­tested ball it is any­one’s game,” he said.

“We have it all to win and they have it all to lose.

“The pres­sure is on them and if we can bring the same gamestyle as we did at the weekend then we will be a chance.

“We need to bring the score­board pres­sure early.

“We haven’t got a lot of pace, but we have a lot of phys­i­cal­ity.”

Li­ons coach John Strano said the win­ning streak did add some ex­tra pres­sure.

“It is prob­a­bly just a fig­ure,” he said.

“It does not mean a lot to me, re­ally.

“I sup­pose it is no good win­ning 39 and los­ing the 40th.”

Strano said play­ing just one game in three weeks did not con­cern him.

“We have had some pretty heavy train­ing ses­sions and had some play­ers who did not play in the semi-fi­nal to get ready,” he said.

“We had four train­ing ses­sions last week and will have three this week.”

Strano said the team would have five changes from the semi­fi­nal.

West­brook said pre­lim­i­nary fi­nal hero Dale Wilkin­son would be a piv­otal part of the team’s suc­cess.

“We need him to take marks early and get his con­fi­dence up,” he said.

West­brook said the Tigers could stretch the Li­ons’ de­fence, with Wilkin­son joined in the for­ward line by Kale Fran­cis and Jonathan Dix.

“But we will still need our smaller play­ers to be front and cen­tre,” he said.

“It does al­low us to send one back if the game is in the bal­ance.”

Strano said the mid­field would play a big part, while their for­ward line of Shan­non Sabourne, Chris Strano and Matt Bick­nell would cause the op­po­si­tion trou­ble.

“Once we get it in there it is hard for the op­po­si­tion to get it out of there,” he said.

“Our de­fence has been out­stand­ing as well.

“It is hard to sin­gle any­one out as they have all done their job, which is what I wanted from the start of the year.”

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